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Sky lit up in red flames: Have Israeli troops crossed the border in Gaza?

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The Israel military says air and ground troops “are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip”.

However, the IDF later clarified this statement, saying that ground operations against Palestinian militants had started but that they had not entered Gaza.

More than 16,000 reservist military personnel were called up earlier and additional ground troops were deployed to the border.

Israeli forces have not entered Gaza following a barrage of artillery and air strikes in the north of Gaza, according to Al Jazeera.

Have Israeli troops actually entered the Gaza strip?

Al Jazeera and other news outlets with reporters on ground are questioning whether Israel’s military has actually entered Gaza.

Internal miscommunication early on Friday morning led to Israeli Defense Forces announcing that its air and ground troops were “attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

However, that was clarified later by the IDF that ground operations against Palestinian militants had started but that they had not entered Gaza.

On Friday local time, Israeli Defense Forces announced that its air and ground troops are “attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

Palestinians marked the first day of the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday under heated bombardment.

Gaza’s health ministry saying that 109 people, including 28 children, have been killed since the Israeli offensive began late on Monday.

Militants in Gaza have fired more than one thousand rockets into Israel, with airlines either suspending or diverting flights over fears of planes being shot down.

At least 580 others were injured. Israel has stationed more troops and tanks near Gaza and has approved mobilizing 9,000 more reservist troops, according to AJ+

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operations were targeted at Hamas and would continue “as long as necessary.”

ISRAEL Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“We give one hundred per cent backing to the police, to the soldiers of the border police and the other security forces,” he said.

It comes as Israel’s Defense Minister says the country has “many, many more targets” and no time limit when it comes to military operations.

“The army will continue to attack to bring a total, long-term quiet.”

Israel’s Defense Minister

The violence in Gaza erupted on Monday after Israeli air strikes killed several senior Hamas commanders and destroyed three multi-story buildings.

https://twitter.com/ayaat_wael/status/1392988585356374019

As the situation worsens in Gaza, tensions are also spreading throughout several Israeli cities, with Arab and Jewish citizens clashing and rioting on the streets.

“I say explicitly: we will continue to defend and continue to attack until the fire is stopped and we will ensure long-term silence,”

Israel’s Defense Minister says.

Why now?

It comes as Palestinians plead with the United Nations to live up to its responsibility and maintain international peace and security.

Hamas controls Gaza, while Fatah controls the West Bank.

Then there’s the Abraham accords signed in the final months of President Trump’s administration, where relations were normalised between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.

The situation in Gaza is at breaking point, following the UN yesterday making a stark warning that the violence may turn into a “full-scale war”.

The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the situation

The UN has warned that the violence in Gaza could escalate into a “full-scale war” after Israel carried out heavy airstrikes on Gaza and Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel.

U.S. President Joe Biden has spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and says “Israel has a right to defend itself” amid a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, according to AFP.

Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”

u.s president biden

The United States dispatched a senior diplomat on Wednesday to urge Israelis and Palestinians to calm the worst flare-up in violence between them in years, says Reuters.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about the matter.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Meanwhile in Australia,  Foreign Minister Marise Payne has followed the U.S lead in calling for an end to escalating violence between Israel and Gaza.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne 

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Global Politics

Organisers reveal how many spectators will be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics

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Up to 10,000 domestic spectators will be allowed to attend events at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games

The decision comes just weeks before the opening ceremony and ends months of speculation about whether spectators will be allowed at the pandemic-postponed Games.

Medical officials have raised concerns that allowing spectators could worsen the spread of infections.

Despite that – a spectator limit will be set at 50 percent of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people in all venues.

Foreign spectators has been banned in March.


The decision was announced – following talks between event organisers and government officials.
The Governor of Tokyo says if there is a “dramatic change in the infection situation”, having no spectators in venues is on the cards.

“In light of the government’s restrictions on public events, the spectator limit for the Olympic Games will be set at 50 percent of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people in all venues,”

organisers said in a statement.

A decision on spectators at the Paralympics will be delayed until July 16, a week before the Olympics open.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on July 23.

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Global Politics

Insider reveals death day of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper

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Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily will be forced to shut “in a matter of days” after authorities froze the company’s assets under a national security law, an adviser to jailed owner Jimmy Lai says.

According to reports, Friday will be the last day for the 26-year-old newspaper.

Media advocacy groups say that the closure of Apple Daily would undermine the former British colony’s reputation as an open and free society and send a warning to other companies that could be accused of colluding with a foreign country.

The publisher’s head company Next Digital will hold a board meeting on Monday to
discuss how to move forward after its lines of credit were frozen.

“We must press on”: news raid sends “shockwaves” through Hong-Kong

Following raids on a Hong Kong newsroom last week, a journalist based in the city-state says it has sent “shockwaves” through the entire industry.

500 Hong Kong police offices raided Apple Daily to arrest a number of top executives and seize documents over allegations the publisher breached national security laws.

Elaine Yu from the Wall Street Journal says the incident “raises important new questions about how media outlets can report on topics that are now considered highly sensitive.”

Apple Daily says the company’s CEO, COO and three editors were all arrested during the raids.

The behaviour of the individuals is said to have breached legislation that prohibits sedition, secession and subversion against Beijing.

The assistant to Apple Daily’s chairman says operations at the newsroom are limited because Hong Kong authorities have seized many of the company’s accounts.

He also says “it’ll get harder for reporters to get people to talk to them because the police can now potentially seize reporter’s files and devices through a court warrant.”

Sold out news stands with “we must press on” printed on front page

“We must press on”… that was the message on the front page of Apple Daily, that people in hong kong queued up for.

Many Hong Kong locals have have queued up to buy copies of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily… a day after its newsroom was raided by police.

The paper typically prints about 80,000 copies but increased that to 500,000 to meet demand.. and some news stands sold out.

A total of five executives were arrested including the Editor-in-chief and chief executive officer.

Police made the arrests on suspicion of collusion with a “foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security”.

200 Hong Kong police officers arrested five senior executives. Image: Apple Daily.

Meanwhile, this is the second time that police have searched the building.

The company’s founder Jimmy Lai, was recently arrested for national security violations.

Mr Lai is currently serving a 20-month prison sentence.

The raid follows arrests made at the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre last month.

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Global Politics

Why Olympic spectators are likely despite widespread opposition

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Olympic Games organisers and government officials are meeting today and it’s expected that a final decision will be made – on how many – if any – domestic spectators will be able to attend events at the Summer Olympics, which commence in a month.


Concerns have been raised by medical experts that allowing spectators could worsen the spread of infections

Foreign spectators are banned from attending the games due to health concerns.

The Olympic Organising Comittee will update the general public today on exactly how many local fans will be allowed in the stands

Local media have reported that a 10,000 spectator cap will be set. 

On the weekend, in a move to reduce the risk of COVID spreading, Tokyo’s Governor announced six viewing sites have been scrapped

Members of the public would have been able to watch live broadcasts of events at these locations. 
That will no longer be happening with some instead set to serve as vaccination sites.

There is still considerable opposition in Japan for the Olympic Games going ahead. A new poll shows almost two-thirds of Japan’s public want the event postponed again or cancelled altogether. 

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